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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Indiana men’s basketball hosting 4 transfer prospects this weekend

Payne Pharrel.jpg

Indiana men’s basketball is slated to host four transfer portal prospects on visits April 12-16, Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com reported. The Hoosiers have five open scholarships with six returnees and one high school recruit locked in. 

Washington State University redshirt freshman guard Myles Rice committed to the Hoosiers during his visit, which stretches April 12-14. Rice is ranked as the No. 16 transfer prospect in the 247sports rankings.

Rice was the 2023-24 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He averaged 14.8 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game in 35 starts. He shot 43.9% from the field and 27.5% from 3-point range. 

Although he has the eligibility status of a redshirt freshman, this past season was Rice’s third year at Washington State. He redshirted in 2021-22 then received a medical redshirt in 2022-23 while being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He received his last chemotherapy treatment in March 2023 and was cleared to resume basketball in June. 

Minnesota sophomore Pharrel Payne already completed his visit April 12. The 6-foot-9 forward has two years of eligibility remaining. 

Payne averaged 10 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season, an improvement from his 8 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest during his freshman campaign. He has shot at a 63.7% clip in his career with a 47.6% mark at the free throw line. 

Payne and Minnesota played against the Hoosiers twice during his tenure, both this past season. He posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high five blocks at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall — one of his two double doubles this season — then 8 points and five rebounds in the teams’ second matchup. Indiana swept the series. 

Bradley University junior guard Connor Hickman is set to visit April 14, as is University of Arizona redshirt senior center Oumar Ballo. Ballo’s trip is slated for April 14-16. 

Hickman spent three seasons with the Braves and is coming off an All-Missouri Valley third team selection. He averaged 14.5 points, 2.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds on 46.7% shooting and 40.2% from 3-point range — all career bests. He has one year of eligibility remaining. 

Hickman is a Bloomington, Indiana, native and attended Bloomington High School South. During his junior year in 2019-20 at Bloomington South, he and Indiana senior guard Anthony Leal led the Panthers to a 26-0 record and No. 1 ranking in 4A before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ballo is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the 247sports transfer portal rankings. In three seasons with the Wildcats, he was a two-time first-team All Pac-12 and Pac-12 Tournament All-Tournament Team selection and earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors his senior season. 

In his final two seasons, when he started all of Arizona’s games, he averaged 13.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. His career 64.7% shooting from the field is the best in Arizona program history. 

Travis Branham, a national basketball analyst for 247sports, entered a Crystal Ball prediction April 12 for Ballo and Rice to land at Indiana. Ballo also has visits planned for the University of Louisville and Kansas State University, as well as interest in visiting the University of North Carolina and University of Florida, Joe Tipton of On3 Sports reported. There are no reports of Rice making any planned visits. 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Press (@MattPress23) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball offseason. 

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